Wednesday, 25 June 2008 12:37 PM

Telekom Strike Disrupts 999 Emergency Line

Police are urging Telekom that despite its ongoing strike to maintain essential services.

Acting Commissioner of Police, Peter Marshall made the call after the emergency 999 phone number and standard phone lines to some police posts have stopped working.

Mr. Marshall warned that this place the general public at risk until the management and employees of Telekom ensure essential communication services are not affected during the current industrial dispute.

He stressed that the emergency 999 number is what members of the public use to contact the Police Communication Centre to ask for assistance and to report crimes.

"Telekom management has a responsibility to keep essential services working during this dispute. With the 999 number no longer working, the community is unable to quickly call for police assistance.

"This is having an impact when the public require police for burglaries, domestic violence incidents, calls for the fire service and a whole range of other issues," he said.

The Solomon Islands Police Force Executive respects the rights of Telekom employees during this industrial dispute. However, through no fault of the Police the level of service to the community is reduced and this has the potential to cause serious problems.

"Police have the well-being of the community at heart. The capability of the police has grown in recent times and essential policing services should not be affected by this on-going dispute.

"I call on Telekom to restore the emergency 999 number and services to the police posts immediately," Acting Commissioner Marshall said.

Members of the public that need police assistance should report in person to their nearest police post until communication services are reinstated.